October 17, 2014 |
REPLACE "DODGERS" with "Phillies" and see how it feels . . . Los Angeles Times : "Dodgers' hiring of executive Andrew Friedman signals a cultural shift. " ESPN.com: "Dodgers stepping into 21st century with Andrew Friedman" Baseball Prospectus: "The Rich [Dodgers] Get Smarter" Anyway, heeeere's Johnny. (crickets) Johnny Almaraz. (crickets) You know, the Phillies' new amateur scouting director. Anyone? (crickets) Hey, he might be the best damn scouting director in the history of major league baseball.
October 15, 2014 |
THERE IS a glaring flaw in the logic that the Phillies must "get younger. " The four most productive hitters in the lineup in 2014 were also the four oldest. Marlon Byrd, who turned 37 on Aug. 30, led the team in OPS (.757), OPS+ (110), home runs (25) and slugging percentage (.445). Chase Utley, who turns 36 on Dec. 17, finished second in OPS, OPS+, on-base and slugging percentage (.746, 109, .339 and .407). Carlos Ruiz, who turns 36 on Jan. 22, finished third in OPS and OPS+ (.717 and 102)
May 18, 2008 |
Two weeks ago today, Chase Utley stood in front of his locker at Citizens Bank Park and packed for a West Coast trip. Utley tossed his fielder's glove, batting gloves, spikes, sneakers and sunglasses into a red equipment bag. He then reached into his locker, pulled out five brand-new ebony bats - gamers - and stuffed them into his bat bag. Before zipping the bat bag closed, Utley reached for the one piece of equipment he hadn't left home without...
October 22, 2014 |
Vince Gennaro is a smart man. He's a consultant to several franchises around Major League Baseball, advising them on how to remain relevant and competitive and financially responsible. He wrote a book years ago called Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball , and in the late 1970s, before the acronyms WAR and FIP had become part of mainstream baseball lexicon, he created his own player-valuation system. Again, Gennaro's sharp. He answered his phone Monday, on the eve of the World Series, to field a couple of seemingly simple questions: What can the Phillies learn from the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals?
August 2, 2013 |
IN THE BOTTOM of the first inning, Chase Utley stepped to the plate and hit a home run. It was the 14th time he had done so this season, good enough for fourth among major league second basemen. If anybody needed a reminder that the 34-year-old veteran was still one of baseball's best players at his position, here it was. Still, as he trotted around the bases to the hearty approval of the Citizens Bank Park crowd, you couldn't shake the feeling it was the beginning of another egregious miscalculation by a Phillies organization struggling to find the path toward a better tomorrow.
May 4, 2010 |
So here's the deal: You get to invite any of the top stars in Philadelphia sports over to the house for dinner. We're talking hypothetically, of course, but just say you have that opportunity. Who would you invite? Ryan Howard? DeSean Jackson? Mike Richards? And what would you serve them? Would you go Italian? Send out for Chinese? Or perhaps you have a favorite dish that has been passed down through the generations? We asked you whom would you like to have over in the survey we conducted with the Sport Industry Research Center at Temple University and you chose to chow down with Chase Utley.
July 16, 2014 |
MINNEAPOLIS - A chair reserved for Chase Utley was positioned under a sign with his name on it, but the Phillies second baseman stood. He stared at the seat. Major League Baseball mandated that Utley - the lone Phillies all-star - spend 45 minutes Monday with reporters. He overcame career-threatening knee injuries to start Tuesday night for the National League, but circumstances overshadowed that accomplishment. "Are they trying to trade him?" Hunter Pence, a former teammate, wondered from across the room.
April 12, 2013 |
WE ENTERED the season knowing that the Phillies needed a lot of things to go right in order for them to return to the postseason, and the last couple of nights have offered a tantalizing glimpse at the kind of team they can become if those things break in the proper direction. Of course, two nights make for a small sample size. The last time the Phillies had faced Jeremy Hefner, all seven of the batters they sent to the plate against him ended up scoring runs. But a lineup can only hit against the pitchers whom the other team sends to the mound, and in rattling off their first back-to-back victories of the season, Charlie Manuel's team did just that.
April 1, 2013 |
THE BALL came toward his head and baserunner Chase Utley did the natural thing. He ducked. After avoiding contact with Domonic Brown's heat-seeking missile of a base hit, Utley regained his footing and took off from first to second base. He didn't stop until he slid safely into third base. Utley then bounced back on his feet and prepared for the next step. It was March and he was playing baseball, so any next step he took was going to be a heck of a lot farther than any he made in the last two springs.
September 19, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Chase Utley and Ryan Howard remain the heart of the Phillies' batting order and they were the foundation for this franchise's run of success that started in 2007 and appears likely to end in 2012. But as the season winds toward its conclusion, it's obvious they are players in transition. After the Phillies took early batting practice Monday afternoon, Utley remained on the field and worked extensively at third base with coach Sam Perlozzo. Howard, meanwhile, fielded questions about a season that started with him on the disabled list after undergoing surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon and is ending with the first baseman in a terrible slump.